The loss of Amazon could help Tulsa in the future
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —
Tulsa didn't make the cut for a new Amazon headquarters facility that would cost five billion dollars and generate up to 50,000 jobs.
Mayor G. T. Bynum said the experience of creating an ambitious proposal should benefit the city in the future.
While it's disappointing, Tulsa was a long shot.
The 20 finalist cities are all significantly larger than Tulsa and most are on the east coast, a long way from the current Seattle offices.
He said the effort brought a lot of the people in this community together and showed them that we've had the wrong focus.
"Crying ourselves to sleep because Broken Arrow beat us out for a sporting goods store and not focusing on national economic development," Bynum said.
He says Tulsa has some strong selling points.
"Tulsa has this really unique cross section of being a high quality of living and a low cost of doing business," Bynum said.
President of the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce Mike Neal said corporate visits to Tulsa have greatly increased over the last few years.
He also said they hope to have a couple big announcements in the next 60 days.
When it comes to economic development, Tulsa has problems because of the state budget crisis and educational issues.
But local experts say education is also a key to our future.
Ty Towry, Community Manager for the Tulsa Coding Dojo, says they train students to write computer code and develop websites.
"We have to do the work," he said. "We have to invest in STEM. We need to put people in the position to be prepared for jobs that haven't been invented yet."
The dojo is graduating 10 students next week, but Towry said there will be 10 million unfilled jobs in that field in the next five years.
He also said Tulsa is in a good place when it comes to teaching people technology skills for the future.
The lesson of the Amazon could help us get some of those paychecks.